I’m sweeping black sunflower seeds across the cement and into the shell-strewn dirt when I hear a funny noise. (I’ve just filled the feeders in my house finch corner of the courtyard, and a handful or two of the dark seeds always spill out.) For a long time I thought this sound I am hearing now was made by one of those extended leashes when you reel them in fast. (We have a lot of dog walkers here. Funny, isn’t it, how we make up things in our heads, trying to make sense of the world?) But now I recognize the sound. It is not a leash. I look for the source and spot the road runner perched at the edge of the swamp cooler on my neighbor’s roof. He is facing north, away from me, surveying his domain. When I talk to him, he swivels his head around, listening. “You’re so beautiful,” I tell him. And then I am crying, all this love welling up in me and spilling over like the sunflower seeds. I think of my cats now, that ache never far away. I marvel at how quick love comes, like that first day I brought Sofia home from the shelter all those years ago. I remember how she walked from room to room in our home over the garage in Sebastopol. She was hunting for signs of other beasts, and she was so relieved and so glad when there were none to be found. (Old scents maybe, of Trair who’d died four months before, but nothing that would threaten her.) Already I loved her so much, as much as I’ve loved anyone. I remember my surprise. I didn’t know then it could happen like that, thought love needed time to grow. That’s how quick it is this morning with the roadrunner. I am filled with the blessing of it. Then I think about how it’s not the same for me with people most of the time. It makes me sad. I guess there are too many things in the way. It’s complicated with humans. For one moment I worry. If I don’t let myself get another animal for the time being, will I not get to feel that kind of love? And then I remember the roadrunner, how it came to me today. I can love wild animals in the meantime. And maybe even other human beings, along with roadrunners, ravens, coyotes, lizards. And me, too.